Workshop to target gang violence, troubled youth

Published 10:01pm Thursday, February 21, 2013

Along with commemorating the 1965 march to Montgomery, a special workshop will be held the week of Jubilee encouraging young Selma residents to stay on the right path and stray from gang activity.

“Making Good Choices,” a forum for young men, will be held Saturday, March 2 at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library. The workshop, sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Inc., Fraternity, will target topics such as illegal activities and financial aid for further education.

“We are having an individual come in who has been a part of a gang himself and he will talk about how he was able to get out of the gang,” said Joseph Bumbrey, president of the Delta Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. “He is now a minister in the community here in Selma.”

Bumbrey said the speaker will discuss the consequences he faced of joining a gang and will discourage youth from becoming a part of one.

District Attorney Michael Jackson will talk with youth and their parents about the harsh realities of gangs.

“The third topic will be a representative from Wallace Community College and they will talk about financial aid that is available to young people who want to go on to pursue further education beyond high school,” Bumbrey said.

As a community member, Bumbrey said he sees too many youth take the wrong path and ruin their future and he said through this workshop, he hopes to discourage this destructive behavior.

“I volunteer at one of the high schools here every week and I see the problems on these campuses,” Bumbrey said. “These young people don’t have a good feel for where they want to take their lives. Most of them can’t look ahead and say ‘this is what I want to be’ — they don’t have that capability.”

And though this workshop is geared toward boys in middle school and high school, Bumbrey said he encourages young women and parents to attend as well.

“I think any parent who cares about the future of their child should attend this,” he said. “We want to try to turn these kids around and tell them there are better things out there for them.”

The workshop will begin at 1:30 p.m. For information, call 309-6404.

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